Healthy No-Bake Cookies

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These Healthy No Bake Cookies come together in 10 minutes or less and are just like the childhood classic that many of us grew up with. They’re easy to make with a reduced amount of natural sweetener. They’re also gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, and I’ll show you how to make them paleo as well. These cookies also keep really well at room temperature and even better in the freezer.

Healthy No Bake Cookies on a marble background with a wood spatula scooping one up.

I’ve been eating no-bake cookies all my life, and I love them! They’re so easy to make, and I never get tired of this childhood favorite. Our family recipe for No Bake Cookies probably isn’t the healthiest, so I came up with this healthier version to satisfy my sweet tooth.

The original cookie is awesome just as it is, but once you mix the almond butter in, they become insanely good (don’t say I didn’t warn you!). It has the perfect trio going on: chocolate, coconut, and almonds!

Also, these are fantastic with peanut butter or cashew butter too. You can’t go wrong with any nut butter you would choose to add.

Side view of Healthy No Bake Cookies with a wood spatula scooping one up.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Rolled oats, milk, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, coconut oil, vanilla, sea salt, peanut butter in containers on a wood cutting board.
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats – if you need these to be gluten-free, be sure to check the label to make sure your oats are certified gluten-free. Bob’s Red Mill has gluten-free oats that work well. If you don’t have any allergies you don’t need to worry about this.
  • Coconut sugar – is the natural sweetener I like to use in place of regular cane sugar and it gives these cookies a bit of a caramel flavor as well.
  • Milk – the classic recipe my mom made called for milk, but canned coconut milk works really well as a dairy-free and vegan option.
  • Coconut oil – ghee or butter all work here, use whatever works best for you. Coconut oil does give these cookies a slight coconut flavor, but it’s really yummy.
  • Cocoa powder – regular unsweetened cocoa powder works here, you don’t want hot chocolate mix as it already has sugar and dairy in it.
  • Nut butter – is optional in no-bake cookies. You can use peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or even sunflower butter for nut free. Or you can also leave it out to have a deeper chocolate flavor.
  • Salt – a pinch or more to taste is necessary to bring out the flavor of these cookies if you use coconut oil. If you use the classic salted butter, you don’t really need any extra salt.

Make these Healthy No Bake Cookies recipe step by step

Mixing together the coconut sugar, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and milk together in a large white pot.

Step 1: The first step is to mix together the coconut sugar, coconut milk, coconut oil, and cocoa powder. When a lumpy mixture forms, start bringing it to a boil while stirring frequently.

Adding the oats to the chocolate mixture in a large white pot.

Step 2: After the chocolate mixture comes to a boil, it will turn thicker like in the picture above. Once it thickens, remove it from the heat and mix in the coconut or oats, and any add-ons that you might want.

Portioned out Healthy No Bake Cookies on a marble background.

Tip: Sometimes it’s nice to have more that one kind of cookie, so I spoon out half the batch and then add almond butter or walnuts to the other half.

Ways to serve this


  • Why didn’t my no-bake cookies set up?
  • This happens occasionally when you haven’t cooked the chocolate mixture for long enough. Try boiling it a touch longer next time around. The mixture should reach the soft ball stage which on a candy thermometer reads 235ºF.
  • Why are my cookies hard or dry?
  • This happens when no bake cookies are overcooked. I’ve found a 2-minute
  • cook time to yield a more consistent result than the original 1-minute cook time I grew up learning. If you cook the chocolate mixture too long, it reaches a temperature closer to the
  • hard crack stage which will produce a drier harder cookie with a grainy texture from the sugar crystallizing.
  • Allergic to coconut?
  • You can sub in any milk of choice, regular or vegan butter for the coconut oil, and cane sugar in place of the coconut sugar. Also this recipe works perfectly with rolled oats instead of shredded coconut.
  • Do the paleo no-bakes taste like coconut?

  • YES! They definitely taste like coconut since the paleo version of the recipe is almost entirely coconut based.
  • Are these no-bake cookies gluten-free?

  • Only if your rolled oats are certified gluten-free – Bob’s Red Mill is what I use.
  • Storing leftovers

    • To store – store any leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week. The cookies will get drier as time passes, so I like to freeze mine.
    • Make ahead – these cookies are the best the 1st day, but you can make them in the morning to serve after dinner, or even the next day.
    • To freeze – place your leftover cookies into an airtight container and freeze for 1 month.
    Healthy No Bake Cookies with a small bowl of peanut butter in the center.

    Tips & Tricks

    • No bake cookies without peanut butter – simply leave out the peanut butter and go for a chocolate cookie. If you want the nut butter flavor and richness, add almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter for nut free.
    • No bake cookies with peanut butter – use peanut butter that is unsalted and unsweetened. These cookies are very sweet, so unsweetened peanut butter is a must.
    • Be sure to boil the chocolate mixture for the time listed. If you boil it too long the cookies are more crumbly and if the mixture isn’t boiled enough the cookies will be very soft. If either happens, don’t worry the cookies will still taste good.

    Dietary Options & Substitutions

    • Dairy-free – these cookies are dairy free made with coconut milk and coconut oil. I sometimes use butter but I haven’t tried dairy-free butter.
    • Paleo – be sure to use the coconut oil, and coconut milk, and use the coconut flake option in the recipe.
    • Vegan or Vegetarian – use coconut oil and coconut milk to make sure these are vegan.
    Portioned out no bake cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.

    I sure hope you get a chance to make these Healthy No Bake Cookies soon, and if you do, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here in the comments.

    Side view of Healthy No Bake Cookies with a wood spatula scooping one up.

    Healthy No Bake Cookies

    5 from 4 votes
    Author: Kari Peters
    Total Time 15 minutes
    Yield: 15 cookies
    Course: Dessert


    • 1/2 cup coconut milk - or regular milk
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder - unsweetened
    • 1/2 cup coconut oil - ghee, or butter
    • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar - see notes
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • pinch sea salt - add to taste when using coconut oil

    Classic version:

    • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats - omit the coconut below

    Paleo version – use in place of the oats:

    • 2 cups finely shredded coconut - unsweetened
    • 1 cup big flake coconut - unsweetened

    Optional Additions:

    • 1/2 cup peanut butter - unsalted, unsweetened or almond butter, or 1/2 cup chopped nuts


    • Combine the coconut milk, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and coconut sugar in a larger saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil, then boil this mixture for 2 minutes.
    • Remove the mixture from the heat, whisk in the vanilla and sea salt. Then add either the coconut flakes or the rolled oats depending on which kind of cookie you're making.
    • From here, you can spoon the cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool, or you can either the peanut butter or chopped nuts.
    • These keep at room temperature in a sealed container for 4-5 days. They also freeze perfectly in a well sealed container for at least 1 month.
    Bonus StepIf you made this recipe, please leave a rating/comment. Ratings really help us continue to bring you high-quality free recipes. Rate This Recipe!


    I have reduced the coconut sugar to 1 cup before, but be aware this can sometimes cause the oil to separate from the cookies while they’re cooling. It’s barely noticeable when it’s happened to me, but it’s never happened with the full amount of sugar listed.
    If you’re using rolled oats, be sure to check the label to make sure they’re truly gluten-free.
    Also, the amount of coconut or oats can vary a bit from batch to batch due to evaporation during cooking. If it looks too loose, or not as thick as the pictures, add more coconut or oats.
    The nutrition facts were calculated with dairy-free options, oats, and the optional peanut butter.
    Category: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keywords: Best No Bake Cookies, No Bake Cookie Recipe, No Bake Cookies, Vegan No Bake Cookies

    nutrition facts

    Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
    DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @get.inspired.everyday on Instagram or hashtag #getinspiredeveryday

    This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated in 2020 & 2023 with new photos, more information and tips.

    42 thoughts on “Healthy No-Bake Cookies”

      • I don’t currently have nutritional information on the website, but you can use an online nutrition calculator to obtain the numbers. I really hope you enjoy the recipe, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions! 🙂

      • From one chocoholic to another! My mom’s name is also Cheryl and she’s a chocoholic too, I definitely come by it naturally!

    1. I tried this recipe and there was extra liquid. I thought it would be thick and firm. I had to squeeze out the extra liquid before placing cookies on cookie sheet. Anyone else experienced this? And if so how did you fix it?

      • I’ve never experienced any extra liquid when I make these, but that could be just a difference in brands of coconut (maybe some are drier than others?). If you do have extra liquid the quickest fix is to add a little more coconut flakes to soak it up. I hope you have better luck next time, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions!

      • You’re 100% right – no bake cookies are usually made with oatmeal and peanut butter! I gave them a makeover with some healthier ingredients that I can eat – I switched out the oatmeal for coconut because I’ve temporarily eliminated oats from my diet and almond butter is my go-to choice with chocolate, (it also makes them easier to serve to guests with all the peanut allergies these days)! Hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂

      • Almond butter is just like peanut butter but made from almonds instead. You should be able to find it at any health food store, and I’ve seen it at retail grocery stores and Costco. Hope you enjoy the cookies!

    2. What kind of coconut milk? Full fat, but just use the liquid part of it? What brand of coconut milk do you like? What are the ingredients in it?

      • I used full fat coconut milk from the can – sometimes the coconut milk separates in the can so be sure to shake it up to re-emulsify it. I like using the Native Forest brand because it work really well for homemade coconut whipped cream as well as being a really consistent product – it has organic coconut, water, and organic guar gum in it. If you can’t tolerate guar gum, Natural Value is a good brand with nothing but coconut and water in it.

    3. This recipe calls for shredded coconut and big flake coconut, but only the shredded is in the instructions. Does the big flake get added at the same time as the shredded? Or is it mistakenly on the ingredients list?

      • I’m glad you caught that! The big flake coconut goes in at the same time as the shredded, it adds a nice chewy texture to the cookies. Thanks for bringing this to my attention and I hope you like them! 🙂

    4. 5 stars
      Hi! I have made this recipe three times now and it is a hit every time! I am planning on making it again today but just realized that I am out if coconut milk…do you think that I could use a different kind of milk with the same result?

      • A different kind of milk should be fine. The original recipe from my mom calls for regular cow’s milk, but almond milk should work as well. We’ve had a lot of success with these cookies too – even people who don’t like coconut much still seem to like them!

    5. Hi Kari How do you think Peanut Butter (I make mine in the Vitamix so no nasites) would go as opposed to the Almond Butter in this recipes, have you or anyone else ever tried it, I am going to make this recipe tonight.

      BTW, I put the Lime & Coconut Ice Cream in the freezer and we had it the next evening and it was D E L I C I O U S, there is none left it was that good !! Thanks again for a brilliant recipe.

      Julie xx

      • Peanut butter will work just as well, it seems interchangeable in all the recipes I have using almond butter. I’ve started using almond butter because of all the peanut allergies, but sometimes I really crave that chocolate peanut butter combo!

        Glad your family like the Coconut Lime Ice Cream, we never have any leftovers either. 🙂

    6. Hi again kari….do you use cacao powder for this recipe or did you actually use cocoa powder as there is a big difference, cacao powder is much stronger in flavour, the cocoa powder has got sugar in it, which I can not have…any ideas ? Julie xx

      • I use cacao powder for this recipe, I’ll make an additional note in the recipe. Cocoa powder and cacao powder get confused a lot, some labels read cocoa powder and there’s no added sugar and some labels read cacao powder. The brands I’ve used in the past usually say cocoa mix (which has sugar) and cocoa powder (which is pure cacao powder).

    7. Hello, I’m Elaine. I love food blogs. My favorite is yours and “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook. (also a blog) Between the two of you, I get the best recipes. Keep them coming. Elaine.

    8. I came across the original recipe in my own handwriting that had been copied from the blackboard when I was in the third grade. That was in 1957!!! So it has been around quite some time and hasn’t changed, until now. Thank you for making it healthier. I’ll try it soon.

          • You can use cane sugar with the same texture results. I’m working on a pumpkin version with honey right now, and it’s going well so I think you could use it instead. I’d try substituting 1 cup of honey for the 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar.

            • 5 stars
              I found the coconut sugar tonight at the store and got some to try the recipe out tonight. I told my husband that I brewed up some crack and haven’t let him have any yet.

              I cut the coconut sugar in half an used a little less than 3/4 a cup because I’m a dark chocolate girl. It still came out sweet, and next time I’ll probably cut it down to 1/2 c to get an even richer dark flavor.

              Thanks again! This cured my chocolate fix for a few days 😉

            • I’m so glad you told me that, I’m a dark chocolate girl too! I made them sweet like regular No-Bakes, but I love the idea of cutting the sugar way back. I’m going to try this next time and then post the results in the recipe – thanks again! 🙂

    9. I always forget about no-bakes…you would think that being such an easy and quick cookie to make that I would make them often. Thanks for your healthier version…made them this morning and they are delish!

      • There’s something about them that never gets old! I was wondering where the idea first originated, but I haven’t been able to figure it out yet.


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